I always hear people talk about Cages theories, his use of chance, the I Ching. What I feel is missed and neglected in all this discussion is the way his music actually sounds – the product of all his thought. What if he said nothing, and only wrote music? His impact would not be felt if the music itself was not as arresting. The music has an infectious patience, using space with incredible playfulness and sensitivity. Not only were his works thoughtful, but they were beautiful and exciting to listen to. Cage opened our ideas of what could be musical, allowing media, visual and sonic information to merge. He constantly pushed forward how traditional instruments were played, expanding musical resources with anything from a tea kettle to a cactus. This freedom has allowed me as a musician and composer to do as I want, to put it all into the works and consciously pursue this with discipline and rigor. It is an allowance to merge influences as equals, denying what might be thought of as right or wrong, high and low, conventional and experimental. For me, this is Cages deepest gift.

Ashley Paul: “Leave Mine”